LATEST: Gaza sees more protests and violence on Nakba Day, after 62 killed
Tuesday marks the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba - or catastrophe - and the culmination of the Great March of Return protests along the Gaza Strip's frontier with Israel.
- Mass protests are expected on Tuesday in besieged Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
- Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians on Monday in protests near the Gaza "security fence", including an eight-month-old baby.
- The US officially moved its embassy to Jerusalem on Monday, which also marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.
We'll be keeping you updated here throughout the day.
Areeb here from the MEE office in London. Following continued diplomatic tensions, and protests across the West Bank, and Gaza, questions continue to mount over the prospect of a UN investigation into the deaths of 62 people killed inside the Gaza Strip. Monday also marked the bloodiest day in Gaza since 2014.
Here are a few updates you need to know about the last two days:
- 62 people killed over the course of the previous two days by Israel in Gaza; among the dead was an eight-month-old baby.
- 3,188 Palestinians injured from Israeli tear gas, rubber-tipped bullets, and live fire, according to the Gaza health ministry.
- America defended its decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem, and blamed Iran for "instability in the Middle East."
- Israel expelled the Turkish envoy while Ankara kicked out the Israeli ambassador to Turkey over deaths in Gaza.
- Britain repeated called for a UN investigation into the Gaza deaths.
From all of us here in London, America, and across the West Bank, Israel, and Gaza, thank you for tuning into MEE's live-blog.
Gaza's health ministry confirmed another Palestinian was killed in central Gaza at approximately 6:41 PM local time. The latest announcement now brings the total death toll to 62.
(Source: Gaza health ministry)
Palestine's UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour, offered his condolences to slain protestors and stated Palestinian support for an independent UN investigation.
During the address, Mansour questioned the "regard for Palestinians" and asked the UN Security Council "how many Palestinians must die before action is taken."
"A power that hides kilometres from the inhabitants from Gaza; Targeting them with air strikes, rocket strikes, and other heinous acts. They target unarmed civilians. Would you accept that?...Did these children deserve to die?
Israelis are expected to protest outside the office of the far-right Likud party in Tel Aviv to denounce the Israeli army's violent repression of demonstrations in Gaza yesterday.
"As the right-wing governing coalition fails yet again to prevent the latest round of violence in Gaza, we must stand up and demand a comprehensive political settlement that will ensure the restoration of Gaza and an end to the bloodshed," Israeli group Peace Now said in a statement.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is also planning a protest on Downing Street in London shortly.
LONDON - Buckingham Palace confirmed to Middle East Eye that Prince William's would go ahead with a controversial visit to Israel, despite ongoing violence in Gaza.
The visit, scheduled for next month, will be welcomed in Israel at a time when the royal family's profile is boosted by the marriage of William’s younger brother Harry to Meghan Markle this weekend.
Here is how the major Arab newspapers covered the March of Return protests in the Gaza Strip and the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem on 14 May.
Al-Quds Al-Araby, published in London, titled its front page: "In the Nakba anniversary: 55 martyrs and thousands of casualties... The US is moving its embassy to Jerusalem and blames the Palestinians."
It said that the world "condemns the Israelis' massacre in Gaza... and calls for a united Arab and Muslim stance."
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar's front page read: "Definitely, we will return". It was illustrated with a Palestinian protester carrying his country's flag and masked with a Kufiya.
The paper added that the Palestinians did not actually return to their towns and villages, but that "50 souls of those who martyred returned."
"Palestine: the Nakba rage", cried Al-Araby Al-Jadeed from its front page.
The newspaper described the Israeli army's killing of protesters in the Gaza Strip as a "massacre."
"Yesterday was like the end of days. On the 70th anniversary of the Nakba and the establishment of Israel, Israel committed a massacre in the Gaza Strip."
Asharq al-Awsat, a Saudi newspaper published in London, ran with the headline: "Embassy in Jerusalem.... and a massacre in Gaza". Pictures of Netanyahu with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at the opening ceremony of the US embassy were contrasted with those of Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
Reports have just emerged that Israeli forces have detained at least six Palestinians who were near the fence separating Gaza from Israel.
MEE correspondent Hind Khoudary witnessed Israeli forces grabbing two Palestinians east of Gaza City as they lay wounded near the fence.
The two individuals were out of reach of Palestinian ambulances when they were taken by Israeli soldiers, who dragged them to the Israeli side, Khoudary said.
She added that Israeli drones were dropping large quantities of tear gas in the area while Israeli snipers were shooting live bullets towards the crowd.
At a meeting in London with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised Israel and the United States over Monday's deadly attacks on the Gaza border. Erdogan accused the Israelis of committing a "horrible massacre".
BEIT EL, Occupied West Bank - MEE correspondent Tessa Fox is on the scene in Beit El, an illegal Israeli settlement in the Occupied West Bank that has played host to protests today:
Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets, live ammunition and deployed drones equipped with tear gas on young Palestinian protestors.
In response, Palestinians burnt tires and turned over skips in a bid to avoid being shot at by the Israeli forces.
“We came here because of Nakba but also because the US embassy moved yesterday. We want to send a message to Trump and the occupation government,” a 20-year-old protester told MEE.
“The suffering of people in Gaza, Jerusalem and ‘48 areas is the suffering of everyone. The pain is for the whole of Palestine.”
Karen Pierce, the UK's Permanent Representative to the UN, used her address at the emergency Security Council meeting to call for an independent UN investigation into the deaths in Gaza.
The British envoy condemned the deaths in Gaza on Monday and called for the easing of restrictions on movement, as well as calling for the funding of infrastructure on the Gaza Strip.
US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, used her address to condemn Iran's "destabilising" presence in the Middle East.
She defended Israel and distanced America from any link between the US embassy move to Jerusalem and yesterday's violence.
"No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has," said Haley.
Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said tens of Palestinians have been injured by live bullets and tear gas shot by Israeli forces in the area near the fence separating Gaza from Israel.
Demonstrations along eastern Gaza have been more subdued today than yesterday, as the small Palestinian enclave is still reeling from the devastating toll of Monday's protests. Thousands participated in funerals today for the 61 killed a day earlier.
Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, gave a summary of the situation unfolding on the Gaza Strip at a special session of the UN Security Council.
He used his address to condemn the actions of Israelis killing unarmed civilians in the buffer zone and the placement of improvised explosive devices by Hamas on the Gaza fence.
Mladenov also raised concerns about the prospect of the situation in Gaza leading to further instability in the region.